Faculty

Deborah A. Abbott, PhD

Deborah Abbott PhDDeborah A. Abbott, PhD, is a professional genealogist specializing in genealogical methodology, manuscript collections, and African American family research. She is a member of the Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Archives Commission, the Lakeview Cemetery Community Outreach Committee, an affiliate with the Kentucky-Tennessee Associates, past president of the African American Genealogical Society, Cleveland, Ohio, and a retired professor of Counseling from Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland. She holds an AA degree from Cuyahoga Community College, both the BS and MEd degrees from Tuskegee University in Alabama and the PhD degree from Kent State University in Ohio.

Dr. Abbott is coordinator of the African American Track at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) in Athens, Georgia, and the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP). She teaches at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) and the Texas Institute of Genealogical Research (TIGR) in Dallas. Dr. Abbott presents lectures and workshops for national, state, and local genealogy conferences, colleges, and libraries.

She has articles published in the Ohio Genealogy News and FamilyTree magazines. Dr. Abbott can be found teaching African American genealogy in a segment entitled “Needles & Threads” on Anc"estry Academy, an educational video course for Ancestry.com. She teaches monthly classes entitled “Using Ancestry.com in Genealogy Research” at the Lakewood (Ohio) Public Library and coordinates the “Genealogy and Family History Clinic” for the Cleveland Public Library.

Dr. Abbott is a member of the National Genealogical Society (NGS), the Association of Professional Genealogist (APG) and the Genealogical Speakers Guild (GSG).

A Cleveland, Ohio native, she is a life member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., the Tuskegee University National Alumni Association, and Antioch Baptist Church in Cleveland.

Suzanne Russo Adams, MA, AG*

Suzanne Russo Adams, MA, AGSuzanne Russo Adams, MA, AG, is an accredited genealogist in Italian research and has been researching Italian roots for more than 25 years. She is a graduate of Brigham Young University with a BS in Sociology, BA in Family History/Genealogy, and an MA in European History.

Suzanne worked for Ancestry for 12 years in record strategy, acquisition, and content digitization as well as community relations and conferences. She is employed at FamilySearch as a Senior Content Strategist with current responsibilities for the Pacific Area. In her more than 13 years at FamilySearch she has also worked in content strategy for the United States, Europe (yes, Italy!), and Latin America.

Suzanne has served as a board member for the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), Utah Genealogical Association (UGA), and as a commissioner for the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists (ICAPGen). She was a lead researcher for NBC's U.S. season 1 of Who Do You Think You Are? and is the author of Finding Your Italian Roots: A Beginner’s Guide.

When not traveling to archives–searching through old books for treasure–she resides in Utah with her husband and four children. In her “spare” time she can been spotted doing her own family history, reading a good book, watching a movie, gardening, driving kids to a variety of activities, or singing in the Grand Chorus of Utah Millennial Choirs and Orchestras.

Lisa Alzo, MFA

Lisa Alzo, MFALisa A. Alzo, MFA, is a freelance writer, instructor, and internationally recognized lecturer, specializing in Eastern European genealogical research and creative nonfiction writing. She grew up in Duquesne, Pennsylvania, and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition from West Virginia Wesleyan College and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Nonfiction Writing from the University of Pittsburgh. Lisa is the author of eleven books, including The Family Tree Polish, Czech and Slovak Genealogy Guide, and the award-winning Three Slovak Women, and hundreds of magazine articles. Lisa is a contributing editor for Family Tree Magazine, a regular columnist for Reunions Magazine, and works as an online educator and writing coach through her websites Research, Write, Connect at https://www.researchwriteconnect.com and Alzo Creative Writing. She also developed the Eastern European Research Certificate Program for the National Institute for Genealogical Studies. Lisa is a frequently invited speaker for national conferences, genealogical and historical societies, and webinars. An avid genealogist for more than 30 years, Lisa also chronicles her family history adventures on her blog, The Accidental Genealogist, https://www.theaccidentalgenealogist.com. Visit https://www.lisaalzo.com for more information.

Donna Cox Baker, PhD

Donna Cox Baker, PhDDonna Cox Baker, Ph.D. (history), retired in 2021 after a career in historical book and magazine publishing at the University of Alabama. A decade ago, she began to integrate her longstanding passion for genealogy into her historical profession. She served as president of the Alabama Genealogical Society, board member of the Alabama Historical Association, and co-chairperson of the Statewide Initiatives Committee for the Alabama Bicentennial Commission.

Her retirement has allowed her to create a new career combining her love for history and genealogy. Fascinated by the valuable creative synergy between these two disciplines when blended in balance, she is pioneering, with colleagues, a hybrid form of research she calls “genohistory.” Baker’s website, Genohistory.com, has become a hub for researchers who share her interest in this interdisciplinary method.

Baker has authored three books, coedited a fourth, and awaits the publication of a fifth, A Quick Guide to Zotero 7: For Research in Genealogy, History, Et Al. She has also published numerous articles and blog posts on history, genealogy, and genohistory.

Jenifer Kahn Bakkala

Jenifer Kahn BakkalaJenifer Kahn Bakkala is a professional genealogist, writer, and author, based in Massachusetts. She is passionate about finding and telling the stories of our ancestors and allowing them to emerge beyond the names and dates. She enjoys working in a narrative biography format with an emphasis on social history.

Jenifer is the author of An American Family, Four Centuries of Labor, Love, and Reward: A Story of the Davis Family, 2018, and The Maynard, North, and DeForest Families: A Story of Immigration, Industry, and Community, 2021. She is also a reviewer for NEHGS’s quarterly journal, The New England Historical and Genealogical Register. Jenifer sits on the Board of Directors of the Association of Professional Genealogists and is chair of its Professional Development and Publications Advisory committees.

Gary Ball-Kilbourne, MDiv, PhD, CG, CGL**

Gary Ball-Kilbourne, MDiv, PhD, CG, CGLGary Ball-Kilbourne, MDiv, PhD, CG, CGL, served almost forty years as a United Methodist pastor in North Dakota and as an executive editor at The United Methodist Publishing House in Nashville.

Since he retired from active ministry in 2013, he has been a genealogical researcher, teacher, and writer. He is a trustee for the Board for Certification of Genealogists and serves as the editor of BCG’s publication, OnBoard. He has written articles for the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Maryland Genealogical Society Journal, and Minnesota Genealogist.

His research interests range from his current location in the Northern Plains; to colonial Connecticut, Maryland, and New Sweden; to the District of Columbia and Baltimore; and to England, Germany, and Hungary. He is on the faculty for the genealogical courses offered online by Boston University, mentors GenProof study groups, and volunteers as wordsmith on the SLIG Committee. He holds a PhD in religion from Vanderbilt University. Gary lives in Fargo, North Dakota.

KB Barcomb

KB BarcombKB Barcomb specializes in WWI and WW2 records, resources, and research methodology. Her focus is on understanding the chronology and context of military records, so as to more accurately interpret and analyze their content. She has taught for the Applied Genealogy Institute and the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh. A retired Army officer with over 20 years of active military service, she is also the daughter of two WW2 veterans. KB is a member of the Society for Military History and the Association of Professional Genealogists. Her current research includes racial interactions during WW2, women's participation in war work and military service, and an ongoing study of personnel policies in both WWI and WW2.

Scott Andrew Bartley

Scott Andrew BartleyScott Andrew “Drew” Bartley is a genealogist, archivist, librarian, and editor specializing in Vermont, Mayflower lineages, and colonial New England. He was formerly the manuscripts curator at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, and later librarian/archivist for the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants and editor of their journal, Mayflower Descendant. He was a Wiki Content Specialist creating research guides on Massachusetts, her counties, and Boston for FamilySearch.org and editor of The Descendants of Elder William Brewster, part 1 (2014), the last “silver” book to be published on the descendants of Mayflower passengers. He was the fact-checker for the show Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. on PBS. He has written several books and many articles. He has returned as the editor for Vermont Genealogy, the journal of the Genealogical Society of Vermont.

Drew is currently the genealogist for the Early Vermont Settlers to 1784 Study Project for the New England Historic Genealogical Society which has produced two published volumes so far with more than 725 sketches online. He is also a consulting editor for The New England Historical and Genealogical Register and theMayflower Descendant. He is slowly researching and writing a genealogy of the descendant of George Lamphere of Westerly, R.I., with several articles already published.

Fiona Brooker

Fiona BrookerFiona Brooker is a professional genealogist based in New Zealand. Her company Memories in Time (www.memoriesintime.co.nz) grew from her desire to help others trace their family history. She offers research, coaching and a range of genealogical guides and family history products.

She has been President of the New Zealand Society of Genealogists (NZSG) and convened multiple national conferences. Fiona is a member of PHANZA and APG and co-founder of Talking Family History. While living in England, she studied with the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies. and obtained a Higher Certificate in Genealogy. She also holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Canterbury and a Certificate in Adult Teaching.

Fiona has been a speaker at international and national conferences and enjoys teaching practical workshops in person and virtually. She has had articles published in The New Zealand Genealogist and Family Tree (UK). Fiona works with clients to take their research from folders and their computer, into the hands of their family.

Angie Bush, MS

Angie Bush, MSAngie Bush, MS (Biotechnology), BS (Molecular Biology), is the Director of Region 1 for the National Genealogical Society. She is a professional genetic genealogist and has been researching her own family since she was 8 years old. She regularly provides advice regarding genetic genealogy to other genealogists in the Salt Lake City area. Prior to her involvement with genetic genealogy, she pursued a career in molecular and clinical genetics. Between obtaining her bachelor's and master's degrees, she spent several years working in the biotech industry where she gained an in-depth, working knowledge of the technologies used in DNA testing. Angie has helped many adoptees to find their biological family through autosomal DNA testing, and is particularly focused on using DNA as a genealogical record to reconstruct relationships and break down brick walls – whether they are recent or several hundred years old.

Angie is a member of the Association for Professional Genealogists, International Society of Genetic Genealogists and Utah Genealogical Association.

Sharon DeBartolo Carmack, MFA, CG (Retired, 2024)

Sharon DeBartolo Carmack, MFA, CG (Retired, 2024) is the best-selling author of twenty-eight books, including the newly revised and expanded, Discovering your Female Ancestors; Madame Restell: The True Story of New City’s Most Notorious Abortionist, Her Early Life, Family, and Murder; and In Search of Maria B. Hayden: The American Medium Who Brought Spiritualism to the U.K. She is part of the English adjunct faculty for Southern New Hampshire University, the writing faculty for Writer’s Digest University, and the genealogy faculty for Salt Lake Community College. Sharon is currently pursuing an MA in American History. She can be reached through her websites SharonDCarmack.com or SharonCarmack.com.

Kimball Carter, CG

Kimball Carter, CGKimball G. Carter, CG, is a Certified Genealogist with nearly 50 years of research experience. With many ancestors from Colonial Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, and New York, Kimball has deep experience in early U.S. research. Kimball also has deep research experience in Germany and England. Since retiring from a career as an Art Director and Creative Director, Kimball has been serving as a volunteer at the FamilySearch Library in Salt Lake City for the past five years, where he helps patrons with German Research, and early U.S., and immigration research. While serving at the library, Kimball has become a mentor to other volunteers for German research and has become adept at reading early German records. Leveraging his experience in graphic design Kimball also creates professional charts, diagrams, and maps that augment his genealogical writing. For more information, visit www.genealogypuzzlessolved.com.

Alice Childs, AG

Alice Childs, AGAlice Childs, AG, is an Accredited Genealogist professional specializing in U.S. Mid-Atlantic states research. In addition to her client work, Alice is passionate about genealogy education. She has presented at RootsTech, Brigham Young University Education Week, and various state and local genealogy conferences. She has volunteered as a mentor for aspiring professionals in the ICAPGen Study Groups and as a mentor for ProGen. She also authors the GenealogyNow blog at alicechilds.com, sharing family history resources and inspiration for all ages and stages.

Alice earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Brigham Young University and has completed courses at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy and the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research. She is a graduate of ProGen 53 and has earned certificates in the Research Like a Pro and Research Like a Pro With DNA Study Groups. Alice currently volunteers on the ICAPGen Presentation Committee and as the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy communications manager.

Michelle Tucker Chubenko, AG

Michelle Tucker Chubenko, AGMichelle Tucker Chubenko, AG, is the International Research Team Manager and professional genealogist with Legacy Tree Genealogists. She is accredited in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States through the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists (ICAPGen) and specializes in New Jersey and Eastern European research. Michelle is a founding member with the “Nashi Predky/Our Ancestors” Family History Group at the Ukrainian History and Education Center (Somerset, New Jersey) and in 2023, coordinated the institute course Researching Your Ancestry in the Crownland of Galicia, Austria-Hungary. Since 2021, she has hosted a monthly Q&A Zoom session "Have Questions? Get Answers for Research in Galicia."

Elise Madeleine Ciregna, PhD

Elise Madeleine Ciregna, PhDElise Madeleine Ciregna, PhD, is a historian specializing in social, visual, and material culture. She has a master’s degree in the history of art and architecture from Harvard University; her master’s thesis was an exploration of the role of Mount Auburn Cemetery in the development of an American school of neoclassical sculpture. Dr. Ciregna earned her doctorate in history from the University of Delaware; her dissertation is entitled “The Lustrous Stone: White Marble in America, 1780-1860.” She has worked as a historic cemetery curator and director; has been editor of a scholarly journal on gravestones and cemeteries; has taught courses at the University of Delaware, the Wentworth Institute, and Harvard Extension School; has lectured at Brown University; and has led workshops at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia. Dr. Ciregna is the former President of the Association for Gravestone Studies, the leading organization in America for cemetery studies. Currently, she is a senior administrator in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University and teaches courses there on scholarly writing, research methodologies, and cultural heritage protection, and for Atlas Obscura, she offers courses on gravestones, the cemetery industry, and the material culture of death.

Joel Cole, PMP

Joel Cole, PMPJoel Cole, PMP, was born and raised in Italy. He has been involved with Italian Family History for over 30 years. He accompanied his father Trafford for his first genealogical research when he was 15 and since then he has been fascinated by family history.

He has worked as a researcher for over 20 years, visiting almost every State Archive in Italy and almost 1,000 parish archives. He is familiar with paleography having taken several classes in Italy, and with Latin documents, having studied it for over 10 years.

Joel has presented in many international genealogical conferences about Italian Family History and has worked for years for private companies performing research in all of Italy, consulting Civil records, Parish and Diocesan Catholic records, Notary records and many more sources.

Since 2015, he has lived in Utah working for FamilySearch in a variety of roles and responsibilities. He is currently the content strategist for Southern Europe, including Italy. He is married to his beautiful wife Sava, and they have two children of 8, Andrea and Joshua.

John Philip Colletta, PhD, FUGA

John Philip Colletta, PhD, FUGAFor 40 years John Philip Colletta, PhD, FUGA, has been helping family historians to discover and write the stories of their ancestors. After working at the Library of Congress and teaching programs at the Smithsonian Institution and National Archives, he became a popular lecturer at NGS and FGS national conferences and a faculty member of the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (U. of Georgia) and Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. His publications include many articles, both scholarly and popular, two manuals (Finding Italian Roots and They Came in Ships), a murder mystery/family history, Only a Few Bones (the second edition includes instruction on how to write narrative family history), and a Great Course titled “Discovering Your Roots” available from The Teaching Company. Recipient of professional awards and honors, Dr. Colletta resides in Washington, D.C., where he earned his doctorate at the Catholic University of America.

Luana Darby, MLIS, AG

Luana Darby, MLIS, AGLuana Darby, MLIS, AG, has always had a passion for genealogy and the recording of family history. She began organizing photos, documents, and information on her grandmother’s family in 1977 and has researched for others since 1985, working as a professional genealogist since 1995. She specializes in Palatine German, US and Canadian, and western European research. She frequently travels to Europe for genealogical research on site in archives located in Germany, Poland and France.

Luana has a bachelor’s degree in Family History from Brigham Young University and a master’s degree in Library and Information Science from San Jose State University. In addition to her education at BYU and SJSU, Luana is an Accredited Genealogist and has completed several in-depth tracks of study at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) which cover Advanced Genealogical Methods, Research in German Speaking Areas, Problem Solving in the Midwest, American Records and Research, Computers and Technology in Genealogy, Advanced Methodologies – Land Records, Forensic Genealogy and Genetic Genealogy.

She is a frequent lecturer at local and national conferences and institutes, including the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, the British Institute, RootsTech and through Legacy Family Tree Webinars.

Luana is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, the Genealogical Speaker’s Guild, the National Genealogical Society and the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors (IFSHWE). She has served as past president and director of the Utah Genealogical Association and currently serves on the board of the Association of Professional Genealogists and as a director of the Genealogical Speakers Guild.

In January 2015, she joined the faculty of BYU-Idaho as an online family history instructor teaching genealogical analysis and genealogy as a business course.

Kaelyn Deeter

Kaelyn DeeterKaelyn Deeter discovered a passion for genealogy during the pandemic, when she became enthralled in the process of researching her deep Alaskan roots. She has since been pursuing genealogical research and education on a full-time basis. Her family history and ancestry (Iñupiat, Greek, African, Black Sea German, English, Irish, Italian, and Norwegian) have provided her with ample opportunity for broad research and the honing of her skills in correlating DNA and documentary evidence. Kaelyn's previous career as an Art Advisor instilled a deep appreciation for the careful handling and preservation of records. She holds a BA in Political Science and Philosophy from the University of British Columbia and lives in Los Angeles with her husband, daughter, two rescue dogs, and an African Gray parrot (likely no more than two generations removed from the Congo).

Catherine B. W. Desmarais, CG

Catherine B. W. Desmarais, CGCertified Genealogist Catherine Becker Wiest Desmarais is the owner of Stone House Historical Research, where she leads a team of researchers specializing in forensic genealogical research for probate, real estate, and military repatriation cases. Her firm completes more than 6,000 hours of forensic genealogy research annually and has assisted the Defense POW-MIA Accounting Agency to locate families for more than one thousand missing service members. A professional genealogist since 2006 and board-certified since 2011, Catherine has a broad range of genealogical experience in the U.S. and internationally, with particular expertise in Vermont, Pennsylvania, and Ireland.

Catherine is a past Vice-President of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG). She is a founding member of APG’s Forensic Genealogy Special Interest Group (ForGen SIG). After a long tenure on the program committee of APG’s New England chapter, she now serves in the same capacity for APG’s ForGen SIG. She has a master’s degree in Education from the University of Vermont and has taught at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, the Forensic Genealogy Institute, and the Federation of Genealogical Societies conference, as well as local and regional venues. Her research and writing has been published in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Crossroads, and the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly.

Lara Diamond

Lara DiamondLara Diamond began researching her own family around 1989. She has traced all branches of her family multiple generations back in Europe using Russian Empire-era and Austria-Hungarian Empire records. Most of her personal research is in modern-day Ukraine, with a smattering of Belarus and Poland. She has done client research leading to their ancestors in many parts of the former USSR, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Romania and more. Lara leverages her mathematics background and her endogamous Ashkenazic genome to augment document-based research with genetic genealogy and teaches how others can have successes in genetic genealogy in endogamous situations. She is president of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Maryland, leads JewishGen‘s Subcarpathian SIG, and is on JewishGen‘s Ukraine SIG’s board of directors. She has lectured around the country and internationally on Jewish and Eastern European genealogy research as well as genetic genealogy. She also runs multiple district- and town-focused projects to collect documentation to assist all those researching ancestors from common towns.

Mack D. "Skip" Duett

Mack D. 'Skip' DuettSkip Duett is a professional genealogist, speaker, and author specializing in Upstate New York research and Y-DNA analysis. He has been published in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly and the New York Researcher. He has taught at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) and at the Institute of Genealogical & Historical Research (IGHR). He also speaks at the state and local level on New York land records. He is conducting cutting-edge research in the application of advanced Y-DNA analysis for genealogy and presented on that topic at NGS 2020 On Demand. He is the volunteer Project Administrator for the Howard Y-DNA Project serving over 400 members. The author of the Mohawk Valley Ehles and Allied Families, he serves on the New York Genealogical & Biographical Society (NYG&B) Family History Advisory Committee. Skip has been researching his own family in New York for thirty years and began accepting clients in 2013. He holds a master’s degree from Syracuse University and a bachelor’s degree from the United States Naval Academy.

Diana Elder, AG

Diana Elder, AGDiana Elder, AG, is a professional genealogist accredited in the Gulf South region of the United States. She serves as an ICAPGen Commissioner, heading the Presentation Committee. Diana and her team teach about the accreditation process and produce the ICAPGen YouTube video content. Diana authored Research Like a Pro: A Genealogist’s Guide and co-authored the companion volume, Research Like a Pro with DNA: A Genealogist’s Guide to Finding and Confirming Ancestors with DNA Evidence. Diana and her daughter, Nicole Dyer, are the co-owners of Family Locket Genealogists and host the Research Like a Pro Genealogy Podcast. They share research tips on their website, FamilyLocket.com, and provide educational experiences with their online courses and study groups.

Diana has lectured at the National Genealogy Society Conference, RootsTech, the APG Professional Management Conference, and the Brigham Young University Conference on Family History and Genealogy. She regularly presents lectures and seminars for genealogy societies and has completed courses at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, the Georgia Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research, and the Texas Institute of Genealogical Research. Diana is a graduate and past mentor of the ProGen Study Group, an online peer-led study program based on the book Professional Genealogy by Elizabeth Shown Mills.

Amanda E. Epperson, PhD

Amanda E. Epperson, PhDAmanda Epperson, PhD, is the E-learning producer for Family Tree University. She is the author of The Family Tree Scottish Genealogy Guide. Her work has also been published in history journals and magazines, including Family Tree Magazine and Your Genealogy Today.

 

Joseph B. Everett, MLS, AG

Joseph B. Everett, MLS, AGJoseph B. Everett, MLS, AG, is the Family History, Local History, and Microforms Librarian at the Brigham Young University Harold B. Lee Library. He has over 25 years combined experience in the genealogical field at BYU, the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, and Ancestry.com. Joe manages the collections and patron services of the BYU Family History Library and serves as a faculty liaison to instructors in BYU's Family History undergraduate degree program and others involved in family history on campus from social to computer science.

At FamilySearch, Joe was a library program manager providing services for the more 5,000 family history centers. Previously at FamilySearch, he headed the International Reference floor at the Family History Library, and also worked for several years as a technical services librarian, cataloging Slavic and Germanic records. He has served on numerous strategic planning and program development teams at FamilySearch. At Ancestry.com, he worked in content acquisitions and content product and project management, putting genealogical databases online.

Joe earned a B.A. in Russian Language and in Family History/Genealogy (Germanic emphasis) from Brigham Young University and a Master of Library Science from Emporia State University (Kansas). He has been a member and officer in various library and genealogical associations and has lectured and published articles on U.S. and European family history research, historical geography, and migration.

Alec Ferretti

Alec FerrettiAlec Ferretti is a New-York-City-based professional genealogist, who has worked for the Wells Fargo Family & Business History Center, researching family histories for high net worth clients. Alec specializes in the genealogy of 20th century immigrants to the United States. He is a regular lecturer at genealogical societies and conferences. He serves as the President of the New York Genealogy & Technology Group, serves actively on the Board of Directors of the Association of Professional Genealogists, and on the Board of Reclaim the Records, a nonprofit dedicated to wrangling public records from obstinate government agencies.

J. H. "Jay" Fonkert, CG

J. H. 'Jay' Fonkert, CGJ. H. (“Jay”) Fonkert, CG, is a Minnesota-based genealogy researcher, writer, and educator specializing in 19th-century Midwest genealogy. His passions are family migrations and historical geography. His favorite research topics are the Fawkner and allied families of early Kentucky and Indiana, the Tidballs of Southwest England, and Dutch immigration to Illinois and Iowa. When time permits, he strays occasionally into Scandinavian and German research.

He is Coordinator for the 2024 Midwest course for the GRIP Genealogy Institute, and he has previously taught in the SLIG Great Plains and Advanced Practicum courses. He has lectured at numerous regional and national conferences, and for local genealogical societies in several states.

Jay has been Editor of Minnesota Genealogist (now Generations) for 15 years. He has published five articles in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, as well as several dozen other research and teaching articles in NGS Magazine, APG Quarterly, Crossroads, Bluegrass Roots, Family Chronicle, The Septs, and Minnesota Genealogist. He is a two-time past president of the Minnesota Genealogical Society and a former director of the Association of Professional Genealogists.

Jay has studied at the Institute for Genealogical and Historical Research at Samford University, the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, the National Institute for Genealogical Research, and the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh. Jay received the 2009 Scholar Award from the American Society of Genealogists.

Margaret R. Fortier, CG

Margaret R. Fortier, CGMargaret R. Fortier, CG, named after her grandmothers and inspired by her mother’s phenomenal memory, is a genealogical researcher, instructor, and writer. The daughter of an immigrant, she focuses on French-Canadian, Italian, and Portuguese ancestry as well as Catholic records. She is a co-editor of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly and serves on the board of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG).

She holds a BS from Boston College and an MS in Human Factors in Information Design from Bentley University. Margaret is grateful that her husband’s French-Canadian Furkey ancestors changed their name back to Fortier.

LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, JD, LLM, CG, CGL, FASG

LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, JD, LLM, CG, FASGLaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, JD, LLM, CG, FASG, earned a BA from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York, and both a Law degree and a Master of Laws degree from New York University. She enjoyed a 35-year career as a tax lawyer before her 2013 retirement from a partner-level position at Ernst & Young, and is now a full-time genealogist focused on teaching and writing. Her research centers on African American families that survived American slavery. She has been a trustee of the Board for Certification of Genealogists since 2016, and served three terms as BCG President from 2019–2022.

In 2021 LaBrenda was elected as the 170th Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists (ASG), the field’s honorary scholarly society. As declared by ASG: “Her educational publications include a guide to researching African-American family history in Laurens County, South Carolina, where she has roots—a primer with important methodological lessons applicable nationally—and an authoritative guide to genealogical research in the state of Alabama.” She currently serves on the editorial board of both the National Genealogical Society Quarterly and the Journal of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society.

In addition to coordinating the African American Track at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, she teaches various subjects on the faculty of the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, the Genealogical Institute on Federal Records, and the Institute of Genealogy & Historical Research.

For more information see her website https://www.LabGarrettGenealogy.com.

Amy Larner Giroux, PhD, CG, CGL

Amy Larner Giroux, PhD, CG, CGLAmy Larner Giroux, PhD, CG, CGL, is an award-winning author with articles published in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society Record, The Genealogist (American Society of Genealogists), the Florida Genealogist, and Florida Studies. She is co-author of the Florida edition of the NGS Research in the States series. Her research interests include methodology, case studies, U.S. military service, and cemetery studies. She has lectured nationally and has taught at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research.

Paul K. Graham, CG, AG

Paul K. Graham, AG, CG, CGLPaul K. Graham, CG, AG, is a research manager at AncestryProGenealogists where he conducts unknown parentage and complex brick-wall research. In that role he has led research for nine episodes of the television show Who Do You Think You Are?. Paul is BCG-certified and an ICAPGen Accredited Genealogist professional; he holds a master’s degree in public history and a professional certificate in geographic information systems. He has authored or co-authored numerous books and articles, including Georgia Courthouse Disasters and Georgia Land Lottery Research. His publications have earned him the National Genealogical Society (NGS) Award for Excellence and the American Society of Genealogists (ASG) Scholar Award, and he is a winner of the NGS Family History Writing Contest. Paul resides in San Diego.

Diane Florence Gravel, CG

Diane Florence Gravel, CGDiane Florence Gravel, CG, has been a Board-certified genealogist since 2002. A native of Atlanta, Georgia, she lived in Miami, Florida, for 25 years before moving to Thornton, New Hampshire, in 2001. There, she became immersed in New England research, and in 2002 was appointed co-editor of New Hampshire Families in 1790, a project of the New Hampshire Society of Genealogists documenting the families of the 1790 census. She has lectured at regional and national conferences and has been an instructor at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG). Diane has served on the Board of Directors of the Association of Professional Genealogists and chaired its Chapter Review Committee. In recognition of her work for APG, she was awarded the 2018 Grahame T. Smallwood Jr. Award of Merit. She is also a Past President of APG’s New England Chapter. Diane currently serves as President of the New Hampshire Society of Genealogists. She also chairs the Board of Trustees of the Thornton Public Library, an authorized FamilySearch affiliate library.

Shannon Green, CG

Shannon Green, CGShannon Green, CG, is a genealogy researcher and writer. She earned the Certified Genealogist credential in 2017 and renewed her credential in 2022. Shannon has published articles in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly (NGSQ), the NYG&B Record, the NEHGS Register, and NGS Magazine, as well as several other publications. Her research focuses on the lives of women, which too often are not well documented. She has an undergraduate degree from Duke University and an MBA from Vanderbilt University. Shannon lives in Greenwood Village, Colorado with her husband and three children.

Colleen Robledo Greene, MLIS, FTxSGS

Colleen Robledo Greene, MLIS, FTxSGSColleen Robledo Greene, MLIS, FTxSGS, is a professional genealogist, academic librarian, adjunct professor, and digital historian who has been researching her own family history since 1997. She is a nationally recognized genealogy educator and speaker specializing in methodology; Mexican, Mexican-American, and Hispanic research; 20th century immigration research; libraries and archives; and technology. Colleen has coordinated courses for the Texas Institute of Genealogical Research (TIGR) and has taught in courses for the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG), SLIG Academy for Professionals, and the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR). She also coordinates the Mexico Research Series for Legacy Family Tree Webinars.

Colleen is the Digital Scholarship Librarian at California State University, Fullerton, where her primary work involves helping students and other faculty integrate more digital tools and strategies into their curriculum, research, and scholarship. She frequently guest teaches about genealogy methods and sources in academic courses and programs. Colleen has also taught an online, graduate-level, genealogy research methods and librarianship course for the School of Information at San Jose State University since 2016. Her students are future librarians and archivists who gain a solid introduction to the Genealogical Proof Standard while also learning how to deliver high quality genealogy video instruction and research assistance.

Jana Greenhalgh, AG

Jana Greenhalgh, AGJana Greenhalgh, AG, graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Family History & Genealogy in 2003. She taught genealogy as an adjunct faculty member for Brigham Young University–Idaho through their online degree program. She has also taught and presented at various genealogy conferences including RootsTech and the Brigham Young University Conference on Family History and Genealogy. She served on the Board of Directors for the Utah Genealogical Association from 2016-2018 and served as the chair of their Education Committee. She is accredited in the England region and served as the Level 1 Chair on the ICAPGen Testing Committee from 2018-2020. She is a member of the ICAPGen Presentation Committee.

Jana and her husband Brent are the parents of seven young children. They enjoy camping, hiking, vacationing, and gardening. As a family, they enjoy sharing their family history adventures and experiences via social media and online at www.TheGenealogyKids.com.

Forrest R. Hansen, JD

Forrest R. Hansen, JDForrest Hansen, JD, has expertise in French genealogy and law. He frequently delivers lectures at local and national genealogy societies and institutes, including the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research and the Southern California Genealogical Society. The topics of his lectures include civil law, French genealogy, notary records, and the U.S. Constitution. He also speaks on comparative constitutional law, legal ethics, and attorney mental health.

Forrest graduated from American University Washington College of Law and attended Brigham Young University for his undergraduate education, majoring in French and International Politics. He has practiced law as an attorney at international law firms, as an in-house corporate counsel, and as a law clerk in a United States District Court. He is fluent in French and Spanish and has practiced law in France. He is a native of Louisiana, the only civil law jurisdiction in the United States, and has French ancestry.

For the past ten years Forrest has taught law students at the Université of Paris Cité and American University. This is Forrest’s second year teaching at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy.

Jenny Hansen, AG

Jenny Hansen, AGJenny Hansen, AG, graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Family History and Genealogy. She received her genealogy accreditation in Danish research in 1999. She currently works as a freelance researcher, specializing in all things Scandinavian. She serves as a Commissioner for the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists (ICAPGen).

Jenny is a popular speaker at regional and national conferences, including the National Genealogical Society and RootsTech (both in Salt Lake City and London). She has an approachable and energetic style that connects well with attendees.

Her other hobbies include reading, finding old churches and cemeteries, and doing anything outside with her family. Follow her at www.MyFavoriteAncestor.com.

Kara Mae Harris

Kara Mae HarrisKara Mae Harris explores the culinary history of Maryland on her blog Old Line Plate. Old Line Plate has been featured on CBS Mornings, The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun, and other local media. She lives in Baltimore. "The Blogger Quietly Preserving Maryland's Culinary History" – Kristina Gaddy, Gastro Obscura

 

Cynthia Heidorn, PhD

Cynthia Heidorn, PhDCynthia Heidorn, PhD, is passionate about genealogical research and writing. She is a volunteer mentor for the Advanced Skills in Genealogy course for the National Genealogical Society. Cynthia coordinates a monthly NGSQ Study Group and regularly attends genealogical workshops and institutes. She completed ProGen Practicum 02, ProGen 50, ProGen Study Group 52, and earned a Certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University’s Online program (OL31). She is working on her portfolio for the Board for Certification of Genealogists. Dr. Heidorn is a retired public-school superintendent and chief school business officer in Illinois. Post-retirement, she was an interim assistant superintendent for instruction (technology) and through her consulting practice provided facilitation and coaching services for principals and faculty. Cynthia’s doctoral degree is in Organization Development from Benedictine University and her master’s degree is in Educational Leadership: School Business Management from Northern Illinois University. Cynthia lives in the Chicago area. She enjoys spending time with family, playing games, reading, and knitting.

Tammy A. Hepps

Tammy HeppsTammy A. Hepps uses genealogical research techniques to examine less-studied topics within American Jewish history. Creator of Treelines.com and past winner of the RootsTech Developer Challenge, Tammy draws heavily upon her technology expertise to create research approaches that break new ground in data gathering and interpretation. She is best known for her community reconstitution project focusing on the Jewish community of Homestead, PA, available online at HomesteadHebrews.com. She received her AB in Computer Science from Harvard College.

Debra A. Hoffman, PLCGS

Debra A. Hoffman, PLCGSDebra A. Hoffman, PLCGS, is a professional genealogist specializing in Maryland and German research and the owner of Hoffman Genealogical Services. She is a genealogical author, lecturer, and researcher. She has presented at the Genealogical Institute on Federal Records (Gen-Fed), the Institute of Genealogy & Historical Research (IGHR), the International German Genealogy Conference, and coordinated the Maryland course at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy in 2020 and Course 2-Intermediate Genealogy and Historical Studies in 2021 at IGHR. She is the co-author of NGS’ Research in the States Series: Maryland and has authored articles in the Maryland Genealogical Society Bulletin, the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly, Der Kurier, Bluegrass Roots, and the Carrolltonian. She has a certificate in Family History from Brigham Young University and a Professional Learning Certificate in Genealogical Studies (PLCGS)–German Records from the National Institute of Genealogical Studies. Active in the genealogical community, Debra is the past co-director of Gen-Fed and is a graduate and former mentor of the ProGen Study Group. She currently serves as an At-Large Board Member of the Maryland Genealogical Society, is the Recording Secretary for the Mid-Atlantic Germanic Society and is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists.

Kathryn Lake Hogan, UE, PLCGS

Kathryn Lake Hogan, UE, PLCGS Kathryn Lake Hogan, UE, PLCGS, is a professional genealogist and educator with deep roots in Canada through her Loyalist ancestors who was born, raised, and is still living in Southwestern Ontario. Since 2007, Kathryn has helped family history researchers learn how to find their ancestors in Canada through her genealogy business, Looking4Ancestors. She is a graduate of ProGen 4 and the International Institute for Genealogical Studies, earning professional learning certificates in English and Canadian genealogy.

The author of research guides featuring Canadian genealogy, Kathryn has written articles for CrossRoads, Family Tree Magazine, The In-Depth Genealogist, and the APG Quarterly. She is the past Dominion Genealogist of the United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada (UELAC), a past board member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, and Ontario Ancestors–The Ontario Genealogical Society.

Kathryn speaks at society meetings, regional and national conferences, and genealogical research institutes throughout Canada and the USA, including the National Genealogical Society, The Ontario Genealogical Society, the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP), the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG), and Applied Genealogy Institute (AppGen).

Eva Holmes, CG, AG

Eva Holmes, CG, AGEva Holmes, CG, AG, of Portland, Maine, combines a background in information technology and project management with genealogy skills to help people locate and share information about their ancestors.

Eva supports genealogical education in her role as mentor for programs such as ProGen and as a trustee of the BCG Education Fund. Eva wrote the Research in the States guide to Maine published by the National Genealogical Society in 2024. She has been published in several periodicals, including the National Genealogical Society Quarterly. She is the incoming editor of the Utah Genealogical Association’s quarterly, Crossroads.

Justin K. Houser, JD

Justin K. Houser, JDJustin K. Houser, JD, is an attorney by profession and a genealogist by passion. He has been actively researching his own family history, including his maternal Ukrainian lineage, for over 30 years. He serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Ukrainian History and Education Center and on the Center's Nashi Predky – Our Ancestors Family History Group, and through those organizations assists others with identifying and locating the records to discover their Ukrainian ancestors.

Sharon L. Hoyt, MLIS, CG

Sharon L. Hoyt, CGSharon Hoyt, MLIS, CG, is a genealogy researcher, speaker, and writer from California’s Silicon Valley who enjoys researching intriguing stories and brick wall cases. She has spoken at local, regional, state, and national events, and has taught in the SLIG Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum and the Board for Certification's 2024 "Putting Skills to Work" workshop. Her research has won Family History writing contests sponsored by the National Genealogical Society and the Minnesota Historical Society, and has been published in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, and Minnesota Genealogist. Sharon holds a master’s degree in Library and Information Science.

Melissa A. Johnson, CG

Melissa A. Johnson, CGMelissa Johnson, CG, is a professional genealogist, writer and editor. She has expertise in researching families with origins in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and England, and works on forensic cases, dual citizenship matters, and using DNA to break through ancestral brick walls. Melissa is President of the Genealogical Society of New Jersey and Vice President of the International Society for British Genealogy and Family History. Her work has been published in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, New York Genealogical & Biographical Record, NGS Magazine, Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly, Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey, and numerous other publications. Melissa is currently the Program Director for Boston University’s genealogy studies programs, and teaches at various genealogy institutes nationwide.

Robbie Johnson, CG

Robbie Johnson, CGRobbie Johnson, CG, became a professional genealogist in 2016 after 40 years as a writer/editor and researcher. She has served as a coordinator and secretary for the ProGen Study Groups, mentored for the GenProof study group, and lectures locally in Washington state. Robbie focuses her research on England and Canada, Indigenous North America and Mexico, Ohio, and the Midwest. Robbie lives in Skagit County, Washington.

Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGG, FASG, FUGA, FNGS

Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, FASG, FUGA, FNGSThomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGG, FASG, FUGA, FNGS, is an award-winning genealogical researcher, author, and educator. He co-edited the National Genealogical Society Quarterly in 2003–18. He is a former trustee and past president of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, past board member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, and recipient of its Grahame T. Smallwood Jr. Award of Merit and its Professional Achievement Award. He also has received the Utah Genealogical Association’s Silver Tray Award and its Award of Merit. Retired from a thirty-year career in higher education and professor emeritus at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., Tom coordinates courses at the Institute on Genealogy and Historical Research and the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, teaches classes at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy and its Academy for Professionals, and speaks frequently at national, state, and local genealogical society seminars. He has written more than twenty-five articles in scholarly genealogy journals, the textbooks Mastering Genealogical Proof and Mastering Genealogical Documentation, and chapters in Professional Genealogy and Advanced Genetic Genealogy. He specializes in skillfully using genealogical evidence and writing genealogical articles.

Gretchen Jorgensen

Gretchen JorgensenGretchen Jorgensen is a professional genealogist with Legacy Tree Genealogists, specializing in DNA analysis for unknown parentage, as well as use of DNA to solve genealogical brick walls. She holds a BS in Applied Mathematics and Statistics from Colorado State University. After graduation, she spent more than a decade as a Software Engineer for a Fortune 100 company, followed by 17 years as a stay-at-home mom. Past genealogy courses include the SLIG DNA Boot Camp, APG Professional Management Conference, and the i4GG International Genetic Genealogy Conference.

Gretchen has spent thousands of hours researching her own family, with a focus on US and Danish records. A query from an adopted 3rdcousin DNA match had the unexpected side effect of developing a passion for solving unknown parentage cases. She participates in a local DNA Special Interest Group, and is an administrator for the DNA Detectives Facebook group.

Jan M. Joyce, DBA, CG, CGL, AG

Jan Joyce, DBA, CG, CGL, AGJan M. Joyce, DBA, CG, CGL, AG, is a genealogy researcher whose personal work has focused on her Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania & Wisconsin ancestors who immigrated from England, Germany, Ireland, and Norway. Beginning in 1998, as Vice President of Marketing, she managed the marketing initiatives at Genealogy.com which prompted researching her own family. She has been hooked ever since then but more recently accelerated her genealogical education which has resulted in credentialing.

Her genealogy career is focused on teaching research methodology, writing, and researching her own family. She enjoys speaking and teaching at local societies, regional conferences, and national venues and is known for her interactive and engaging presentation style.

Before beginning her genealogy career, Jan earned a BS in Business, Marketing from Miami University; an MBA, Marketing from The Ohio State University and a Doctor of Business Administration from Golden Gate University. She worked in marketing for many years and also taught a variety of marketing courses as an adjunct professor of marketing.

Melinda Kashuba, PhD

Melinda Kashuba, PhDMelinda Kashuba, PhD, is a professional genealogist and owner of Kashuba Research Services, a genealogical and historical research company. She is a community college instructor based in Northern and teaches online. Her popular book, Walking with Your Ancestors: A Genealogist’s Guide to Using Maps and Geography, joins a long list of articles in numerous genealogical magazines and other publications. She is a course coordinator and faculty member at IGHR and faculty member at SLIG.

Her genealogical specialties include 19th century and contemporary genealogical records in California including map and land records. She holds a PhD in Geography from the University of California, Los Angeles, a Masters of Arts degree in Geography from Hayward State University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Geography.

Melinda is a member of the National Genealogical Society, Association of Professional Genealogists, Utah Genealogical Association, California Genealogical Society, Shasta Historical Society, and Shasta County Genealogical Society. She served as a Registrar for two local chapters of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.

Debra Koehler

Debra KoehlerDebra Koehler has been a writer and creator of factual content for more than 35 years, first as a writer and producer of news and other programming for local TV stations and major cable networks; and now as a forensic genealogist who specializes in probate cases.

Debra began applying her skills from her television career to genealogy after her dad passed away in 2010. Her areas of focus include her family’s roots in Germany and in the Prussian and Russian partitions of Poland. She also enjoys researching and writing about early pioneers to the Oregon Territory, dissecting NGSQ articles, and learning about forensic genealogy.

Debra holds a BA in Speech Communication with a Broadcasting Emphasis from Colorado State University and an AAS in Paralegal Studies from Umpqua Community College in Oregon. She earned her certificate of Genealogical Research from Boston University in 2018 and is a graduate of ProGen 45 and GenProof 59. She serves as the Secretary for the Association for Professional Genealogists Writers SIG.

Rebecca Whitman Koford, CG, CGL

Rebecca Whitman Koford, CG, CGLRebecca Whitman Koford holds credentials as a Certified Genealogist and as a Certified Genealogical Lecturer. She focuses on research in Maryland, Upstate New York, Virginia, the District of Columbia, colonial records, military records from the Revolution through the Civil War, federal records at the National Archives (D.C.), and land records of all types. She has published articles in the NGS Magazine, APG Quarterly, SAR Magazine, and the Maryland Genealogical Society Journal and is co-author of the recently released NGS Research in the States series book on Maryland. She is a graduate and former mentor of the ProGen Study Group, an online study program based on the book Professional Genealogy and served as its Administrator from 2015–2020. She was Executive Director of the Board for Certification of Genealogists from 2018–2024. She speaks locally, for state organizations, and national conferences and including the National Genealogical Society Conference (NGS), RootsTech, Legacy Family Tree Webinars, the Maryland State Archives, and the Virginia State Archives. Rebecca enjoys teaching at institutes, most recently the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) where she is the Course I coordinator, the Institute of Genealogical and Historical Research (IGHR) where she coordinated the course on Washington D.C. Ancestors Research, and the course on Advanced Research Tools: Land Records. In 2021, she was named Director of the Genealogical Institute on Federal Records (Gen-Fed) held annually at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. She takes clients and runs her business under the name Rebecca Whitman Koford Genealogical Research, LLC.

Laura Kovarik, MUP

Laura Kovarik, MUPLaura Kovarik has been involved in genealogy for more than thirty years. Her experience includes leadership, educational, and committee positions with societies at the national, state, and local levels. Laura has been providing educational opportunities for genealogists for almost twenty years. As the education chair for the Illinois State Genealogical Society, Laura crafted annual programing. This included the scheduling speakers for the webinar series as well as developing new small group educational programs.

At an early age, photos sparked Laura’s interest in her own family’s history. This quickly expanded to 3-D artifacts. After questioning her grandmother about items, Laura would record the information by writing on the back of a photo or the underside of furniture. This interest led Laura to design her undergraduate degree in Historic Preservation at the University of Illinois. As her own family archive grew, Laura continued to research how to care for items such as Christmas ornaments, clothing, tools, and furniture. To enhance her skills, Laura completed Denise May Levenick’s “Family Archiving: Heirlooms in the Digital Age” at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh in 2018.

Laura also works as a professional genealogist offering presentations and workshops. Another focus of her work is assisting with organizing and digitizing family archives. Laura has written several books and articles using material from her family archive. She is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, the National Genealogical Society, as well as several local genealogical and historical societies.

Ellen Kowitt

Ellen KowittEllen Kowitt is founder and principal genealogist at Sole Searching Genealogy & Historical Research. Specializing in American records and Jewish ancestry, she is a frequent presenter at national conferences and has published articles in Family Tree Magazine and Avotaynu: The International Journal on Jewish Genealogy. Topics include getting started in Jewish genealogy, methodology, Jewish institutional records, comparing Jewish resources on the genealogy giant websites, Russian Empire research, and Holocaust in Ukraine. Ellen received her BA from Alfred University and spent twenty-five years working in marketing management and communications before transitioning into full-time research. She has completed the ProGen study program and several genealogical institutes, and is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists.

While accepting clients, Ellen continues to volunteer and is JewishGen USA Research Division Director and DAR Jewish Specialty Research National Vice Chair. In 2022, Ellen launched Shul Records America for JewishGen which is a unique finding aid pointing to the location of synagogue records in over one hundred repositories. She has spent thirty years studying her paternal Jewish origins in Ukraine which are documented back to the mid-1700s prior to the assignment of Jewish surnames. Ellen has organized extensive volunteer town research projects for her ancestral shtetl towns of Lyubar and Chudnov, as well as across the former Volhynia Guberniya, and she has partnered with scholars in five countries on projects about Holocaust in Ukraine and Babyn Yar. Originally from New York and Washington, DC, Ellen resides in Colorado with her Israeli-born husband and is mother to two college students. For more information, visit www.EllenKowitt.com.

Leah Larkin, PhD

Leah Larkin, PhDLeah Larkin earned her PhD in biology from the University of Texas at Austin, where she used DNA to study species relationships. She previously worked in both academia and scientific publishing and now applies those research skills to solving genealogicalquestions using DNA. She has contributed to the field of genetic genealogy as a blogger, lecturer, and co-creator of the What Are the Odds? tool. In addition to taking private clients, she is currently working on strategies and tools for dealing with endogamy.

Nicole Gilkison LaRue, CG

Nicole Gilkison LaRue, CGNicole Gilkison LaRue, CG, AG, is a full-time professional genealogist for the federal government. Special interests include paleography, researching women, and other “brick-wall” obstacles. She has a degree in history and work experience in archives and museums around the country. Her published articles appear in the National Genealogical Society’s National Genealogical Society Quarterly, OnBoard, and NGS Magazine.

Dana Leeds

Dana LeedsDana Leeds worked with DNA as an undergraduate at the University of Oklahoma’s Health Sciences Center in the early 1990s and later taught middle school science following completion of her BS in Biology Education from the University of Central Oklahoma. She became interested in genealogy in 1998 working with her own families. In recent years, she has combined her passions for science, genealogy, and education as a process innovator, blogger, and speaker focusing on genetic genealogy and its value in working with traditional genealogy brick walls as well as unknown parentage cases.

She is internationally known for her pioneering genetic genealogy process, the Leeds Method, which visually organizes DNA matches into clusters often showing four grandparent lines. This process allows the researcher to focus on a specific section of their family tree. She has shared this method and its benefits at i4GG’s International Genetic Genealogy Conference, RootsTech, and the Association of Professional Genealogists’ annual conference, as well as with local, regional, and online organizations. Dana enjoys taking the mystery out of DNA by putting powerful, user-friendly tools into the hands of genealogists of all skill levels.

Nancy E. Loe, MA, MLS

Nancy E. Loe, MA, MLSNancy Loe, archivist, librarian, and genealogist, has been helping researchers with their family trees since 1977. From her time as a grad student interning at the Smithsonian to her current work as a genealogy speaker and writer, Nancy provides researchers with new ways to access to primary sources and explore the past.

In addition to writing and teaching on US and European research, Nancy also provides expert guidance on information management, helping genealogists organize their research using archival principles.

Her site, www.sassyjanegenealogy.com, features a free monthly newsletter and genealogy e-books on both practical and research skills for genealogists at all levels.

Nancy earned dual master’s degrees in American history and library science, with a specialization in archives administration, from The Catholic University of America.

In addition to appearing on PBS's American Experience and California Gold, Nancy has presented at the Utah Genealogical Society’s Summit of Excellence, National Genealogical Society, RootsTech, Legacy Family Tree, and at regional and national genealogy conferences in the US, Canada, and Australia. This is her first year teaching at SLIG.

Janice Lovelace, PhD

Janice Lovelace, PhDJanice Lovelace, PhD, is a genealogical researcher, author and lecturer, with over thirty years of experience. Dr. Lovelace is a frequent speaker at national and regional genealogy conferences on health and genetics, ethnic minority genealogy, and research methodology. She authored the National Genealogical Society's continuing education course African American Roots: A Historical Perspective and is an instructor at the Midwest African American Genealogical Institute (MAAGI). She is a national board member of Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) and serves on her local society's board. She belongs to the Ohio Genealogical Society, AAHGS, and the National Genealogical Society (NGS).

Annette Burke Lyttle, MA, CG

Annette Burke Lyttle, MA, CGAnnette Burke Lyttle, MA, CG, is a Certified Genealogist who owns Heritage Detective, LLC, providing professional genealogical services in research, education, and writing. She speaks on a variety of genealogical topics and loves helping people uncover and share their family stories. She coordinates courses in research and writing for the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. She has co-coordinated “Exploring American Quaker Records for the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh and “Researching Quakers n America Britain, and Ireland” for the British Institute. Research specialties include Quaker ancestors and ancestral migrations in the US. Her articles have been published in the APG Quarterly, Illinois Genealogical Society Quarterly, FGS Forum, and NGS Magazine. Annette is past president of the Association of Professional Genealogists and editor of The Florida Genealogist.

Her genealogical education includes multiple courses at SLIG, GRIP, IGHR, and the British Institute. She is a graduate of ProGen 27 and a member of the NGSQ Study Group. She is former vice president of the APG Writers Special Interest Group. Annette has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in English and has taught writing and literature at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and Pikes Peak Community College in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Paola Manfredi, BA

Paola Manfredi, BAPaola Manfredi was born and raised in Italy. At the age of eight, she started drawing her first Family Tree on a notebook while asking her paternal grandmother in Napoli, Italy about her life and her family. This improvised Family Tree turned out to be accurate and she still has it. That was the beginning of a lifetime dedicated to Family History. While still in Italy, she was involved in microfilming Italian records and helping others researching their Family Tree. Later she moved to Utah where she graduated from BYU with a degree in Family History/Genealogy and obtained her AG credentials. She has conducted extensive professional research in archives across Italy and has also given presentations on Italian research in the US and in Italy. She has been working for FamilySearch for the last thirteen years, where she’s involved in homeland support for Europe and especially for Italy. She currently resides in Utah and goes back to Italy every year.

David Mc Donald, DMin

David Mc Donald, DMin

Rev. David Mc Donald, DMin, has lectured on matters of methodology, churches, migrations and research in the Old Northwest Territory for more than 40 years. He is a Protestant minister serving churches in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin since the early 1990s. He is a past president of a number of genealogical bodies and organizations, society newsletter editor, and research coach.

Angela Packer McGhie, CG, FUGA

Angela Packer McGhie, CG, FUGAAngela Packer McGhie, CG, FUGA, has a passion for teaching genealogy. She is the Education Director for the National Genealogical Society and a trustee of the Board for Certification of Genealogists. Angela enjoys coordinating courses for the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy and she teaches at several other genealogy institutes. She served as the administrator of the ProGen Study Program for six years and is now on the board of directors.

Angela speaks at national conferences and has published articles in Crossroads, the APG Quarterly, and the NGS Magazine. She is a past president of the National Capital Area Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists and currently serves as a trustee for the Board for Certification of Genealogists Education Fund.

Ruth Lapioli Merriman, BA, MLS, AG Emeritus

Ruth Lapioli Merriman, BA, MLS, AG EmeritusRuth Lapioli Merriman, BA, MLS, AG Emeritus, is an emeritus Accredited Italian Genealogist with ICAPGen. She retired from FamilySearch nearly seven years ago after working 35 years as a cataloger, research specialist, and manager of the FHL International floor. Throughout those 35 years she worked with records from many parts of the world, but mostly she worked with Italian records: analyzing them; cataloging them; assisting others with their own research in Italy; and teaching locally, nationally, and internationally. She has a special love for her Italian colleagues with whom she has worked for so many years. Although she has retired from FamilySearch, she has not retired from family history.

She enjoys participating in what she calls “Random Acts of Genealogy” by helping others with brick walls and questions that she finds on the multiple Italian genealogy Facebook pages that she follows. She helped teach over 100 LDS missionaries in COVID lockdown in Italy how to index Italian records and how to do basic Italian genealogy. If you do research in Rome and its province and find your ancestors in a search on the FamilySearch website, you can probably thank these young people, and several “seasoned citizens."

Her father’s side of the family hails from several towns and villages in the provinces of L’Aquila and Pescara where she has visited several times. She has a neurotic fear of flying (just ask her husband) but her love of family history gets her on the plane and over to Italy—that’s how obsessed she is.

Moishe Miller

Moishe MillerMoishe Miller, a family searcher since the late 1970s, became a family researcher in 2018 after attending his first NGS conference. Attending a series of institute-level courses on technique, standards, and writing led to his current passion. Miller is rewriting his pedigree, questioning old conclusions and existing family lore, merging documentary evidence and DNA for proof of parentage at each generation for every ancestral couple.

Moishe's passion for genealogy is part obsession and part a desire to preserve his family history. He has published family history in many forms, including a family website started in 1996, a 370-page hard-covered family history book, 1700 Pages of Testimony submitted to Yad Vashem (using software he designed to generate accurate PDFs from his family tree software), a 10' x 4' family chart with pictures printed on parchment-like media spanning ten generations, a 100-page picture-only book telling the story of his grandmother's life with 300 photos, a 14-page children's board book as a genealogical bedtime story for his youngest daughter, and many other books. His current pedigree project, written exclusively in MS Word, is over 600 pages. Using the Sosa-Stradonitz numbering system and NGSQ style, it will document all ancestors to the seventh generation.

Carly Lane Morgan, JD

Carly Morgan, JDCarly Lane Morgan owns Family Tree Notebooks, an organization system based on digital genealogy worksheets. She is a frequent speaker in the field of genealogy and focuses on social media, digital organization, and diversity in family history. She serves on the board of the California Genealogical Society and on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committees for NGS and APG.
 

Sunny Jane Morton

Sunny Jane MortonSunny Jane Morton is a genealogy educator. As a longtime Contributing Editor at Family Tree Magazine, she teaches everyday genealogists through feature articles and regular columns. As Content Director at Your DNA Guide, she helps others share their DNA discovery stories and provides content for the curriculum and marketing departments. As author of Story of My Life: A Workbook for Preserving Your Legacy (now in its 2nd edition), she teaches others how to document their own memories.

Sunny has expertise in U.S. record types, particularly church records. She is co-author of How to Find Your Family History in U.S. Church Records, winner of a National Genealogical Society book award, and coordinator of the 2024 church records course at the GRIP Genealogy Institute. In 2024 she was awarded a Research Travel Grant by the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism to visit the University of Notre Dame archives as part of research for a forthcoming genealogist’s guide to archives of women religious. She has lectured internationally and at the Library of Congress.

Judy Nimer Muhn, EdM, FSA-Scot

Judy has been researching her family tree from the age of 12, specializing in French-Canadian, Acadian, Native American and Michigan research. She has lectured at National Genealogical Society conferences, RootsTech, Federation of Genealogical Societies as well as conferences in Europe and around North America. Owner of Lineage Journeys, she conducts research for clients and offers presentations in churches, libraries, and organizations.

Judy is the President of the Oakland County Genealogical Society, President for the Michigan Genealogical Council, board member & Awards Chair of the National Genealogical Society, former Secretary of the GeneaBloggers, and a member of many societies – among them: Ontario and Quebec Genealogical Societies, Detroit Society for Genealogical Research, French Canadian Heritage Society of Michigan, St. Andrew’s Society of Detroit, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and many more.

Now retired, Judy was an Organizational Development Consultant and lifetime nonprofit management executive staff member, having served in roles such as Interim Executive Director, Corporate Fundraising Officer, Adult Development and Volunteer Services Director in organizations such as Girl Scouts of the USA, the American Red Cross, United Way and more. Serving on nonprofit boards, she has been President and Secretary of the Rotary Club of Pontiac (Michigan) and the Baldwin Center (in Pontiac, Michigan) in addition to other boards.

Greg Nelson

Greg NelsonGreg Nelson is a Content Strategy specialist for Europe (primarily Nordic, Central Europe, and East Europe areas) at FamilySearch. He earned a BA in Russian from BYU, an MA in Slavic Linguistics and Literature from The Ohio State University, and BS in Computer Science from Weber State University. His current research is in finding ways for AI/Computer Generated Trees to connect families in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. Investigating records sets and ensuring there are high quality indexes available for the creation of the trees is his favorite assignment at FamilySearch. He is also interested in records surrounding the transition from the Russian Empire to the Soviet period, which includes repressions records, remembrance books, filtration records, and records from the gulag. He has a special interest in all events surrounding the Holodomor and its impact on the peoples of Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan. He enjoys powerlifting, reading books about folklore and Soviet Russia, and causing chaos in cooperation with his grandchildren. He resides in Stansbury Park, Utah with his wife and children.

Amber Oldenburg

Amber OldenburgAmber Oldenburg is a genealogist, lecturer, and social media manager at Your DNA Guide, with a degree in Family History Research from Brigham Young University-Idaho. She currently serves as an online instructor in the Family History Research program at BYU-Idaho. She suffers from an incurable case of wanderlust and is an occasional procrasibaker, who specializes in Midwest research. She is passionate about pioneers and homesteaders and is currently pursuing accreditation in the North Central Region from the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists.

David Ouimette, CG, CGL

David Ouimette, CG, CGLDavid Ouimette, CG, CGL, senior program manager at FamilySearch, leads content strategy for Asia-Pacific, establishing record priorities including the preservation and publication of historical documents and oral genealogy. He has researched in several hundred archives in seventy countries spanning all continents. Previously, David was lead developer and product manager at Ancestry.com, responsible for family trees, United States records, the search experience, and the initial DNA products developed with Sorenson Molecular. David serves as Vice President of the Board for Certification of Genealogists and previously served as Vice President of the Utah Genealogical Association and on the board of the National Genealogical Society. David and his wife Deanna have eight children and nine grandchildren and reside in Highland, Utah.

Sandy Schilling Payne

Sandy Schilling PayneSandy Schilling Payne holds a bachelor’s degree from New Mexico State University. Her interest in genealogy began in 1994. She has since researched her Germanic family lines into the modern-day countries of Germany, France, Poland, Serbia, Ukraine, Moldova, Russia, Canada, and United States. Her research interests include historical geography related to genealogy, the settlement locations of Germans in the Imperial Russian Empire, and the migrations and diaspora of Russian-Germans to the present day. Sandy is a founder and the author of the Germans from Russia Settlement Locations, a project that geolocates ancestral German colonies in the Russian Empire and its subsequent Soviet states on modern maps. She has been a speaker at international, national, and regional conferences. She is currently a member of the Black Sea German Research volunteer group and the webmaster for the Glückstal Colonies Research Association. She is also a member of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, the Society for German Genealogy in Eastern Europe, and the Germans from Russia Heritage Society, where she served on the editorial review board for six years.

Lauren K. Peightel, MA

Lauren K. Peightel, MALauren K. Peightel, MA, is an educator who is passionate about storytelling, teaching history through play, and food as a vehicle to making lasting personal connections. Peightel carries an academic background of the liberal arts, fine art, art therapy, art history, and entrepreneurial studies from Seton Hill University, a graduate degree in museum studies from Johns Hopkins University, and continuing education certificate in Leadership and Administration in History Organizations from the American Association for State and Local History. Before leaving central Pennsylvania for Indiana, she worked almost ten years in youth camps, academic and public libraries, small historical societies and galleries, and in collections for the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum. Peightel now serves as a manager in the Education and Engagement team at the Indiana Historical Society for the last six years, and as a chair for the bi-annual Midwestern Roots family history conference. She is also the creator of the IN 4D sensory-based research method for more experiential research and storytelling for genealogists, and as educator for family historians, law students, and museum professionals for the Indiana Historical Society, Illinois State Genealogical Society Conference, Ohio Genealogical Society Conference, The Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, and History Leadership Institute for the American Association for State and Local History.

Nancy A. Peters, CG, CGL

Nancy A. Peters, CG, CGLNancy A. Peters, CG, CGL, is a full-time professional genealogist and former coeditor of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly (2019–22). Board-certified since 2011, she served as a trustee and officer of the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) and edited its newsletter, OnBoard. She conducts in-depth genealogical research to solve complex problems of identity and kinship for clients. Her personal and client research focuses primarily on the southeastern United States, New York, England, and Germany. Nancy lectures at national and local conferences and has instructed on skill-building topics and genealogy standards at BCG Education Fund workshops, SLIG, SLIG Academy, and GRIP. Her articles have appeared in the NGS Quarterly and other genealogical journals. She authored the “Research Reports” chapter in the Writing, Editing & Publishing section of Professional Genealogy: Preparation, Practice, & Standards (2018). Nancy holds postgraduate degrees from University of Arizona and London School of Economics in London, England.

Gena Philibert-Ortega, MA, MAR

Gena Philibert-Ortega, MA, MAR Gena Philibert-Ortega, MA, is an author, researcher, and instructor specializing in the use of social history and material culture to tell the story of historical women's lives. She holds two Master's degrees: one in Interdisciplinary Studies (Psychology and Women's Studies) and the other in Religion. As an author, Gena has published two books, Cemeteries of the Eastern Sierra (Arcadia Publishing) and From the Family Kitchen (F+W Media), and hundreds of articles in print magazines and online publications. Her writings can also be found on her two blogs, Gena's Genealogy and Food.Family.Ephemera, as well as the GenealogyBank and Legacy Family Tree Webinars blogs.

A highly sought-after instructor, Gena has taught material culture and social history at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy and is a frequent presenter at seminars and conferences throughout the United States and Canada. Her professional associations include the American Quilt Study Group, the Association of Gravestone Studies, and the National Genealogical Society. Gena has conducted research for PBS, HGTV, and the Travel Channel and has collaborated on research for the Gemological Institute of America. Gena's current research projects focus on American cemeteries, cookbooks, signature quilts, and 20th-century women's lives.

Marian Pierre-Louis

Marian Pierre-LouisMarian Pierre-Louis is a genealogy educator who specializes in house history research, southern New England (MA, CT, RI) research, and solving brick walls. Marian produced and hosted 100 episodes of Fieldstone Common, a history podcast, and 63 episodes of The Genealogy Professional podcast. Both of which are still available online on YouTube. She has written numerous articles for the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly (APGQ), the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society (AAHGS) News, Medway & Millis Local Town Pages, as well as book reviews and over 500 articles for online content. She also contributed a chapter to The Stories Houses Tell – A Collection of Little Compton House Histories (2015) and again in a new volume, A Second Collection of Little Compton House Histories (2022). Marian is the Online Education Producer for Legacy Family Tree Webinars where she produces online genealogy education classes.

Tadeusz Pilat, MLIS, AG

Tadeusz Pilat, MLIS, AGTadeusz Pilat, MLIS, AG, was born in Silesia, Poland (previously Schlesien, in Germany). He currently resides in eastern Poland and Germany. He pursued Library studies at the University of Maria Curie-Sklodowska in Lublin, Poland, focusing on the history of books and old documents. He specialized in "Supralibros" in Private Collections of the 16th to 18th centuries. In 1999, he was granted the degree of Master of Library and Information Science.

In 2003, Tadeusz became an Accredited Genealogist specializing in Polish research, including all partitions of the former Commonwealth of Poland. This accreditation was awarded by the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists (ICAPGen). Because of his study of Information Science, Tadeusz is very interested in creating electronic databases, and he is working on a Lemko Extraction Project. Tadeusz was involved in a project of early (pre-1830) Mennonite property records in Polish archival repositories. He enjoys traveling to foreign countries such as USA, Denmark, Germany, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Ukraine, Slovakia, England, Russia, Mongolia, and Libya (North Africa) where he lived for a while. In addition to being fluent in Polish, German, and English, he can read Latin, Russian Cyrillic and old German scripts. Tadeusz has given lectures on genealogy in Warsaw and Opole, Poland, as well as San Antonio, Texas, Salt Lake City, New Britain, Chicago, Michigan and Sacramento. He also was a lecturer of the online conferences for FEEFHS, GRIP, etc.

Darcie Hind Posz, CG, FASG

Darcie Hind Posz, CG, FASGDarcie Hind Posz, CG, FASG, has been a board-certified genealogist since 2013. In 2015, she was the recipient of the American Society of Genealogists Scholar Award. A genealogical writer, she has been published in The Genealogist, The American Genealogist, National Genealogical Society Quarterly, The California Nugget, Connecticut Ancestry, The Connecticut Nutmegger, The Quarterly Journal of the Illinois State Genealogical Society, MASSOG: A Genealogical Magazine for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Maryland Genealogical Society Journal, The Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey, Northumberland & Durham Family History Society Journal, Rhode Island Roots, the North Carolina Genealogical Society Journal, UGA’s Crossroads, Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Quarterly, and co-authored the chapter on lineage applications with Barbara J. Mathews, CG, FASG, in Professional Genealogy: Preparation, Practice & Standards. She has published two books, The Chicago Stones: A Genealogy of Acquisition, Influence & Scandal and Recast: Vital Events Published in Variety in 1918 and 1919. In 2023, she was elected a Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists.

Kimberly T. Powell

Kimberly PowellKimberly Powell is especially passionate about researching hard-to-find families in the Carolinas and Virginia and sharing her love of genealogy with others through teaching. She is the Education Director for the National Genealogical Society and a past president of the Association for Professional Genealogists. She served as the Genealogy Expert for About.com for sixteen years and is the author of several books, including most recently “The Challenge of Endogamy and Pedigree Collapse” in Advanced Genetic Genealogy: Techniques and Case Studies and The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy, 3rd edition. She has also contributed to several popular genealogy magazines, including BBC’s Who Do You Think You Are?, Family Tree Magazine, and the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly.

Kimberly is on the faculty at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG), the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP), and the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR), as well as for the online genealogy programs offered through Boston University. You can find her online at Level Up Genealogy, https://www.levelupgenealogy.com.

Lori Lyn Price, MAS, MLA

Lori Lyn Price, MAS, MLALori Lyn Price, MAS, MLA, is a professional genealogist, speaker, and writer, and owns BridgingThePast.com. She also owns 1918FluStories.com, where she shares family stories about the 1918 flu pandemic. She loves social history and medicine (perhaps due to working as a statistician in medical research for over 25 years) and helping genealogists bring their ancestors to life via understanding social and historical context. Current research includes colonial medicine, professional medical training and career opportunities for women in late 19th and early 20th century Utah, life in 19th century Utah, and the 1918 flu pandemic and its effect on families.

Lori Lyn has served on boards in various capacities for the Middlesex chapter of the Massachusetts Society of Genealogists and the New England chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), and currently serves as a member of the Publications Advisory Committee for APG. Her articles have appeared in the NGS Magazine, Crossroads, Forum, and local genealogy society magazines. She has spoken at local libraries, genealogical and historical societies, museums, New England Historic Genealogical Society, Legacy FamilyTree webinars, APG virtual chapter, Old North Church (Boston, MA), Tufts Medical Center, private events, and conferences including NERGC, the Massachusetts Genealogical Council, day-long conferences sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Virtual Genealogical Association Conference, History Camp Boston, and the Mormon History Association Conference.

Pamela Prickett

Pamela PrickettPamela Prickett is an associate professor of sociology at Pomona College. She is the author of two books about Los Angeles, including The Unclaimed: Abandonment and Hope in the City of Angels (with Stefan Timmermans) and Believing in South Central: Everyday Islam in the City of Angels. Her research and teaching focus on urban inequality, community-building, death/dying, religion, gender, mental health, and qualitative methods. Before academia, Pamela worked in television as a producer, host, and archival researcher.

Michael Ramage, JD, CG

Michael Ramage, JD, CGMichael S. Ramage, J.D., CG®, began his professional genealogy career in 1998. Since 2002, he has been a full-time forensic genealogist, author, lecturer and expert witness specializing in estate, real estate, copyright and trademark research. Mr. Ramage became a board-certified genealogist in 2002. He has served as a Trustee, officer and now General Counsel of the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) since 2010. In 2013, he served on BCG’s Genealogy Standards Committee that resulted in the complete revision of the industry’s standards published in 2014. His 25-year law practice included civil litigation, contracts, wills, estates, trusts and elder law. He has taught numerous forensic genealogy courses at genealogy conferences and institutes around the country. His related publications include: “Forensic Specialization” and “Ethical Considerations” chapters in Professional Genealogy: Preparation, Practice & Standards, Elizabeth Shown Mills, editor (Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2018).

Kim Richardson

Kim RichardsonKim Richardson, professional genealogist, founded the research and consulting firm Southern Heritage Genealogy to assist clients in their pursuit of their deep-south ancestors. Her personal family research coincides with that same geographical area and she enjoys finding ways to overcome the challenges presented by researching in the South.

Kim's favorite genealogy activity is serving the family history community by coaching and empowering others to break through barriers to achieve their goals. To that end, Kim created and developed the "Brick Wall Buster Cards" to show others her secret to solving tough genealogy problems and family mysteries. She regularly teaches and presents to groups across the country. She also writes for local and state genealogy publications and wrote the “Mississippi Research Guide” for Family Tree Magazine.

Kim earned a BA in Communication with a concentration in Public Relations from Mississippi State University. She retired from service to the State of Mississippi after 25 years as an advocate for victims of violent crime and working in highway traffic safety programs.

Carol Roberts

Carol RobertsCarol Roberts currently serves as the director of the Bedford County, Tennessee Archives and Records Department. She retired to her home county after 33 years as Conservator of the Tennessee State Library and Archives. Her responsibilities there included physical preservation of original records, managing microfilming, and digital imaging of state and local records for preservation.

 

Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL

Judy Russell, JD, CG, CGLJudy G. Russell, "The Legal Genealogist," is a genealogist with a law degree. She writes, teaches, and lectures on a wide variety of genealogical topics, ranging from using court records in family history to understanding DNA testing. A Colorado native with roots deep in the American south on her mother’s side and entirely in Germany on her father’s side, she is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, the National Genealogical Society, and numerous state and regional genealogical societies. She has written for the National Genealogical Society Quarterly and National Genealogical Society Magazine, among other publications.

Judy is a recipient of the Silver Tray Award from the Utah Genealogical Association and the 2017 Award of Excellence from the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, and she now serves as a member of the NGSQ editorial board. An internationally-known lecturer and course coordinator and faculty member at numerous genealogical institutes, she holds credentials as a Certified Genealogist and Certified Genealogical Lecturer from the Board for Certification of Genealogists. Her award-winning blog, The Legal Genealogist appears at her website, https://www.legalgenealogist.com.

Richard G. Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA

Richard G. Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGARick Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA, is a long-time genealogical researcher and instructor. He coordinated and taught in advanced methodology, land, military, and beginning courses at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research from 2003-2017. Rick co-coordinates advanced land courses with Pam Sayre and legal courses with Judy Russell at Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy and Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh. He is an instructor at the Genealogical Institute on Federal Records. He also lectures at national conferences and presents nationwide seminars. Rick’s areas of expertise include the records of the National Archives, Irish research, land records, government documents, federal land law, military records, and urban research.

Craig Roberts Scott, MA, CG, FUGA

Craig Roberts Scott, MA, CG, FUGACraig Roberts Scott, MA, CG, FUGA, is the President and CEO of Heritage Books, Inc., a genealogical publishing firm with over 5,300 titles in print. A professional genealogical and historical researcher for more than thirty years, he specializes in the records of the National Archives, especially those that relate to the military. He is the former Coordinator of the Military tracks at IGHR, SLIG and GRIP.

Torhild Shirley, AG

Torhild Shirley, AGTorhild Shirley, AG, is a native Norwegian, an Accredited Genealogist professional, and the owner of ScandinavianFamily.com. She is the ICAPGen Study Group coordinator and has led and mentored study groups for several years. Torhild has an associate's degree in technical translation from the University of Agder in Norway, an associate's degree in Family History Research from Brigham Young University-Idaho, completed courses at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, and is a graduate of Research Like a Pro with DNA. She speaks five languages and is fluent in all Scandinavian languages.

Torhild's work experience includes assisting Norwegian law enforcement on cold cases, doing client research in all the Scandinavian countries, and translating. She is comfortable with the old Gothic handwriting used in Scandinavian documents and has transcribed and translated many letters from "Family in the Old Country," journals, patriarchal blessings, will and probate documents, land records, etc.

Gerald H. "Jerry" Smith, CG

Gerald H. 'Jerry' Smith, CGGerald H. “Jerry” Smith, CG, is a full-time professional Certified Genealogist specializing in Pennsylvania research. He has been a course coordinator for IGHR (Land Platting) and a faculty member for other courses at IGHR, SLIG, and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania’s Researching Family in Pennsylvania. He is the author of a number of books and journal articles. He researches extensively on projects requiring in-depth knowledge of proprietor and commonwealth land records, mapping, and land placement. Regular research venues include the Pennsylvania Archives, State Library of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania State Law Library, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, military repositories (including David Library of the American Revolution and US Army Military History Institute), National Archives, religious & denominational repositories, county courthouses, and county and local historical and genealogical societies. Southern Pennsylvania border county research includes frequent on-site research at repositories in Annapolis, Baltimore, Maryland counties, West Virginia, and Virginia.

Karen Stanbary, LCSW, AM, CG, CGG

Karen StanbaryKaren Stanbary, LCSW, AM, CG, CGG, BCG Trustee, is an author and national lecturer focusing on topics related to using genetic evidence correlated with documentary evidence to solve genealogical brick walls. A Chicago local, she holds a Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Chicago and has completed advanced graduate study in Social Anthropology at the Colegio de Michoacán, Mexico. Her genealogical practice specializes in Midwestern U.S., Chicago, and Mexican research as well as complex problem-solving, unknown parentage, and DNA analysis. She is a coordinator and faculty member at IGHR, and SLIG. She received the NGSQ Award for Excellence for two complex evidence case studies incorporating traditional documentary research and autosomal DNA analysis in the June 2016 and June 2023 issues of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly. She published “Drowning in DNA? The Genealogical Proof Standard Tosses a Lifeline” in Debbie Parker Wayne’s book Advanced Genetic Genealogy: Techniques and Case Studies. She holds the credentials Certified Genealogist and Certified Genetic Genealogist from the Board for Certification of Genealogists where she serves as a Trustee and is chair of the DNA Committee.

Lisa Stokes, AG

Lisa Stokes, AGLisa Stokes, AG, is a professional genealogist accredited in the Mid-South region of the United States. She serves as a Commissioner for the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists (ICAPGen) and leads the Education Committee. In this capacity, she runs the ICAPGen Study Groups, mentoring aspiring genealogists as they learn about accreditation. Lisa has a Bachelor of Science in Education from Brigham Young University (BYU) and loves to teach, lecture, and coach others in overcoming research challenges.

Lisa co-coordinated “Becoming an Accredited Genealogist” in 2022 and 2023 and presented at RootsTech, SLIG Day at the Family History Library, and the BYU Conference on Family History and Genealogy. She also teaches an online citation course to help genealogists simplify citation writing.

Lisa loves to quilt, garden, hike, and spend time with her husband, four children, and eleven grandchildren. Her favorite request from her grandchildren is, “Grandma, tell us a story about our family!”

Cari A. Taplin, CG

Cari A. Taplin, CGCari A. Taplin, CG, is related to Roy Rogers. Or at least that’s what her family told her. As a result, finding her true heritage has been her focus since the year 2000. She is a native of Wood County, Ohio but migrated to Wyoming, Texas, and Colorado. Cari holds the Certified Genealogist credential and has served in a wide variety of volunteer and leadership positions for state, local, and national societies. She currently serves on the boards of the Association for Professional Genealogists. As the owner of GenealogyPANTS, she provides speaking, research, and consultation services. Cari focuses on midwestern and Great Lakes states and methodology.

D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS, FUGA

D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS, FUGAD. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS, FUGA, is a nationally known genealogical researcher and speaker. Passionate about family history, Joshua is the President of the New York Genealogical & Biographical Society (NYG&B). He is a frequent speaker at family history events across the globe and is a course coordinator at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG). Recognized for his work in the field, Joshua is the recipient of the Rubincam Youth Award from the National Genealogical Society, the Award of Merit from the Federation of Genealogical Societies, and was named one of Library Journal's Movers and Shakers. In 2022 he was named a Fellow of the Utah Genealogical Association. Joshua formerly served on the Board of Directors and as President of the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS). He holds an MLS (Archival Management) and an MA (History) from Simmons College and has been a featured genealogist on Who Do You Think You Are? as a host on the popular PBS series Genealogy Roadshow.

Maureen Taylor

Maureen TaylorMaureen Taylor, The Photo Detective, helps clients with photo related genealogical problems. Her pioneering work in historic photo research has earned her the title “the nation’s foremost historical photo detective” by The Wall Street Journal and appearances on The View, The Today Show, Pawn Stars, and others.

 

Mindy Taylor, AG

Mindy Taylor, AGMindy Taylor, AG, is a professional genealogist, teacher, and presenter. She is accredited through the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists (ICAPGen) in the England region. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brigham Young University, and a Certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University. Mindy serves on the Presentation Committee for ICAPGen, creating instructional videos that appear on the ICAPGen YouTube channel. She has presented at RootsTech, the BYU Conference on Family History and Genealogy, and other local conferences teaching classes for those who wish to improve their research skills. She also teaches and mentors study groups for ICAPGen. Mindy works for Price Genealogy in Draper, Utah, doing U.S. and British research.

Tanner Blair Tolman, AG

Tanner Blair Tolman, AGTanner Tolman, AG, has worked as a professional genealogist for 11 years. He currently works full-time for FamilySearch where he regularly helps guests with Nordic and DNA research. He has a bachelor’s degree in Family History and Genealogy from BYU and is accredited for Danish research through ICAPGen. He currently serves as the 2nd Vice President of the Utah Genealogical Association and is a co-administrator for the Youmans Y-DNA surname project.

Amy Urman

Amy UrmanAmy Urman is a licensed private investigator, professional genealogist, speaker, and the owner of Nosy Wilma LLC. She performs heir, land, water, and mining rights searches, along with location and asset recoveries. Her passion for investigation and genealogy sprang from a deep-seated curiosity about history and lineage. As a co-founder and former president of the Pima County Genealogy Society, she played a pivotal role in transforming a small genealogy club into a thriving nonprofit society. Currently, she serves as an NGS delegate for the society. Amy generously volunteers her time on the Arizona DAR State Lineage Committee and is a proud member of several esteemed organizations, including NGS, APG, DAR, Arizona Association of Licensed Private Investigators, and the Arizona Genealogical Advisory Board. She is a graduate of ProGen, holds a certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University. Beyond her professional pursuits, Amy is a taphophile, an enthusiastic collector of mourning artifacts and is fascinated by the study of historical mourning practices.

Pamela J. Vittorio, MA, PLCGS

Pamela J. Vittorio, MA, PLCGSPamela J. Vittorio, MA (NYU), PLCGS, is a Brooklyn-based historian, Associate Teaching Professor (The New School University), and a professional genealogist. She acquired a certificate in genealogical research from Boston University and a PLCGS from the International Institute of Genealogical Studies. Her lecture topics include: artifacts; DNA; Loyalists, land, military, and transportation history (railroads, North American Canals, stagecoach travel, etc.). Pamela writes and edits genealogies and family histories for museum exhibits as well as clients of diverse backgrounds, including African American, Canadian, English, French, German, Hungarian, Irish, Italian, Jewish, Polish, and Scottish. She is currently the VP of Programming for the Italian Genealogical Group, and volunteers as a mentor for NGS Advanced Skills courses and the GenProof Study Group.

Diane M. Warmsley, MS

Diane M. Warmsley, MSDiane M. Warmsley, MS, is a professional genealogist and family historian with thirty years of experience. She holds a certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University’s Center for Professional Education and was a student in the inaugural SLIG African American Genealogy Course. Diane, a former Director of Admissions, began her career as a New York City public school teacher before transitioning to higher education and holding several administrative positions over the course of more than two decades. She holds a graduate degree in Administration & Supervision in Higher Education from Baruch College, CUNY.

She is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, and the Greater New York Chapter of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society (where she served as Vice-President and Chair of the Genealogy Committee and Writers Group). She has lectured throughout the country and in the Caribbean at private organizations, genealogical societies and national institutes including the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society’s national conferences, Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR), and the New York State Family History Conference. Diane taught in the SLIG African American Genealogy Course in 2021 and 2023. She also contributed research on the Bahamian roots of Tamera Mowry-Housley, in season 9 of Finding Your Roots.

Diane is currently working on an African American Burial Ground Project with Stony Brook University (SUNY) to uncover the names of those interred on land in Stony Brook, Long Island.

Mark Wentling, MLS, CG

Mark WentlingMark A. Wentling, MLS, CG, Attleboro, Massachusetts, owner of Ancestor Introductions Forensic Genealogy, is a full-time, professional genealogist with more than 25 years of research experience. He has specialized in forensic genealogy since 2017. He is an adjunct professor at the University of New Haven, where he developed and teaches the Genealogy Principles and Methods course in the Certificate in Forensic Genetic Genealogy graduate program. He is a past facilitator for the Genealogy Principles course at Boston University, and is a current Mentor for ProGen Study Group. His research has been published in The New England Historical & Genealogical Register, and recognized by the New York State Assembly and New York State Office of Historic Preservation.

Mark specialties include heir searching and military repatriation, New York and New England family history, Mayflower and Revolutionary War lineages, and lighthouse keepers. He holds a B.A. in Sociology, a Master of Library Science with archives concentration, and a Certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University. He currently serves on the board of directors of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG). He previously served as the first Vice President of APG’s Forensic Genealogy SIG from 2020 to 2021, and as Vice President of its New England Chapter from 2018 to 2020.

Scott Wilds, CG

Scott Wilds, CGScott Wilds, CG, has been an avid genealogist for fifty years. He is currently genealogical consultant to the Penn and Slavery Project at the University of Pennsylvania. He has been an instructor in several SLIG courses, including those on African American research and certification. In 2023, he and LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, JD, LLM, CG, CGL, FASG, vetted enslaver lineages for the Reuters investigative series, Slavery’s Descendants: The Ancestral Ties to Slaveholding of Today’s Political Elite (https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/usa-slavery/). His lineage of three generations of an African American family, from West Africa to the Great Migration, is on the Board for Certification of Genealogists’ Learning Center website, and he has published in the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record. Board-certified since 2017, Scott is a BCG trustee. For the last twenty years, much of his research has focused on Darlington County, SC. His website, https://scottwilds.com/, contains abstracts of slave-related deeds and other documents and includes indexes to ration books and medical records from the Freedmen’s Bureau field office in Darlington. A native of Memphis, Tennessee, he has a master’s degree in American Civilization from the University of Pennsylvania and was an associate editor of the Papers of William Penn.

Ari Wilkins

Ari WilkinsAri Wilkins, FTxSGS, is a genealogist who has been actively researching family history for over twenty-five years. As a lecturer, Ms. Wilkins has spoken nationally at the National Genealogical Society, the Texas Institute of Genealogical Research, the Institute of Genealogical and Historical Research, the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, RootsTech, and a multitude of state and local societies. She is also the coordinator of the African American course for the Texas Institute of Genealogical Research.

In 2023, Ari was awarded the Lloyd Bockstruck Distinguished Service Award by the Dallas Genealogical Society for her outstanding contributions to the genealogical community on a national level. Ms. Wilkins is also a fellow of the Texas State Genealogical Society.

Ari speaks on a variety of genealogical subjects and specializes in African American research.

Paul Woodbury, MEd, AG

Paul Woodbury, MEd, AGPaul Woodbury, AG, MEd, is a Senior Researcher at Legacy Tree Genealogists where he has helped solve hundreds of genetic genealogy cases. He graduated from Brigham Young University where he studied Genetics and Family History. He also holds a master’s degree in Instructional Design and Educational Technology. In addition to genetic genealogy, he loves research in France (for which he has received accreditation through the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists). He regularly presents on genetic genealogy and French research topics in webinars, institutes, and conferences.

Christine Woodcock

Christine WoodcockChristine Woodcock is a genealogy educator with an expertise in the Scottish records. Christine enjoys sharing knowledge and opportunities to assist others in their quest to find their Scottish ancestors and to help preserve their family legacy.

As an immigrant herself, Christine is always interested in the stories of other immigrants and helping their ancestors to find out more about them.

Christine was a frequent contributor to Internet Genealogy Magazine. As well, she writes articles for various genealogical society newsletters and has presented at numerous genealogical societies in North America as well as for family history societies in Scotland. Christine has been speaking at regional and national genealogical conferences since 2012. Christine presents webinars on a regular basis and has been running virtual events since 2018. She presented the Scottish class at British Institute in Salt Lake City in 2019.

Christine is the co-chair of the Scottish Special Interest Group (SIG) for the Ontario Genealogical Society and is responsible for their virtual programs. She is also the Syllabus Secretary (Program Chair) for the Glasgow and West of Scotland Family History Society and is a member of Council (Board) for the Lanarkshire Family History Society, both of which are based in Scotland.

 

* The words Accredited Genealogist and its acronym, AG, are a registered accreditation mark of the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists℠, used under license by accredited genealogists after periodic evaluation.

** The words Certified Genealogist and its acronym, CG, are a registered certification mark, and the designations Certified Genealogical Lecturer and its acronym, CGL, are service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists®, used under license by board certificants after periodic evaluation.